Austin Peay Governors:
The Boilers look to improve to 2-0 after a victory over Milwaukee earlier in the week led by Fletcher Loyer’s 17 points, Zach Edey’s 17 rebounds, Ethan Morton’s 7 assists, and Braden Smith’s 7 steals. This will mark the second all time meeting between the two schools with Purdue holding a 1-0 series lead with a 2010 victory by the score of 87-65.
For a mid-major program Austin Peay does have some size in their starting lineup with a pair of 6’11 front court players in Shon Robinson and Elijah Hutchins-Everett who both lead the Governors in points per game and rebounds. On the wings they start two more guys with good size at 6’7 in Cameron Copeland and Sean Durugordon along with 5’10 point guard Guy Fauntleroy. This will be a very good test for the Boilers as there are not many mid-major programs who can bring this much size to a lineup and a good preparation game as they work toward the PK-85 games against West Virginia and possibly Gonzaga.
Even with that impressive size, they lost 50-99 to NCST in their first game of season and struggled shooting just 30.8% from the field, shooting 12.5% from behind the arc, and turning the ball over 19 times. They also feature a starting lineup with four underclassmen and a bench that will feature 3 more underclassmen. Playing at Mackey is a challenge for the most experienced of teams but for a young team that is considered a mid-major will find that extra challenging.
David Jenkins Jr. will be probable for tonight’s game after participating in early shoot around today. Would be his first official action as a Boilermaker after missing game 1 against Milwaukee.
ROSTER NOTE: David Jenkins Jr. (eye) went through shootaround today and is probable for tonight's game with Austin Peay.— Purdue Men's Basketball (@BoilerBall) November 11, 2022
Purdue Wins If...
Purdue wins if they limit their turnovers, take smart shots, and play team basketball. As Daniel Cormier once said as an MMA fighter, ‘there are levels to this game.’ Austin Peay just isn’t on the level of what Purdue brings to the court this season. Purdue needs to continue to work on some important pieces that will help them down the road so look for on ball screen defense, defensive rotations, and ball movement on offense. If those things continue to take steps forward, we should get a Purdue vs. Gonzaga matchup in Portland.
Austin Peay Wins If...
The wheels totally fall off, Purdue turns the ball over 18+ times, and Austin Peay hits 50%+ from behind the arc. Nobody should ever say there isn’t a chance that anyone can beat anybody on a given night and that’s a lesson every college basketball fan should take heart after Chaminade beat Houston during the ‘Phi Slamma Jamma’ run. This is something I feel Purdue fans are keenly aware of given recent history of some losses Purdue has suffered.
Purdue struggled out of the gate against Milwaukee but I think a more focused effort will come from the Boilers in the second game in front of a raucous crowed at Mackey. If Edey can establish himself inside and hit the shots that he usually does, look for Austin Peay to be forced into doubling the big man and for Edey to counter that with his improved passing to the open man on the wing he flashed against Milwaukee. Eventually the firepower that Purdue has from behind the arc will push the Boilers to a large enough lead that we may see the walk-ons get more than 3 minutes of court time.
Austin Peay: 55
Draft Kings Lines: